Is Obama hoodwinking the Vatican?

UPDATE, 1p: Could this be the reason for the Vatican's softpedaling on Obama?
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Deal Hudson blogged today on InsideCatholic.com that the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, appears to be suffering from Obamadelusions:

Page274.jpg

Yesterday OR published an article praising Obama at Notre Dame for seeking "common ground" on abortion.

It's now clear that the paper needs a new editor. The article did not even mention the 79 US bishops who openly criticized Notre Dame for giving Obama an honor at its recent commencement....

"The search for common ground seems to be the road chosen by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to confront the sensitive abortion issue," L'Osservatore Romano says.

And then this:

Strong polemics have marked the weeks following the invitation to President Obama made by (ND) President, Fr. John Jenkins. And also yesterday, as was completely predictable, demonstrations were not missing.

Completely predictable? Why? Perhaps, because President Obama is the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States and some Catholics found it offensive he was being honored by the best-known, best-loved Catholic University in the nation?

Hudson wrote "everyone scratched their heads and wondered, 'What's going on?'" when OR "wrote glowingly of President Obama's first 100 days in office."

To do so OR ignored Obama's overturn of the Mexico City policy, his move to drop enforcement of conscience protections for health workers, his plan to sign the Freedom of Choice Act "first thing," and his appointment of such pro-abortion luminaries as Kathleen Sebelius and Janet Napolitano to key positions.

14_f3.jpgOR's new editor, Giovanni Maria Vian (pictured left), has been chastised before for inaccurate representations of Vatican views. Hudson called on the Vatican to address the inaccuracies in this harmful article, which is being spread around the globe through Associated Press channels.

But the damage has already been done. Here's the Los Angeles Times headline about the Vatican story:



vatican obama.jpg

But anyone reading Obama's speech and comparing it to his actions knows this is just not true.

Is Obama hoodwinking the Vatican? I would be more than disappointed. That sort of development would really add to the other-worldly vibes given off by the Obama presidency.

[Photo attributions: fatima.org; alfayomega.es]


Comments:

I wouldn't put too much stock in what OR says. Though it is the official newspaper of the Vatican, garbage is bound to be printed in there, as we now see. Fr Z has an interesting take on this where he gives a conjecture as to who wrote the article and why. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/05/losservatore-romano-what-the/

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 20, 2009 11:59 AM


You do of course mean, demonic influence, when you are talking about other-worldy.

"Gee, I should have had a V-8."

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 12:05 PM


I thought it was supposed to be a "commencement" speech?! ::scratches head::

Posted by: Carla at May 20, 2009 12:34 PM


Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 20, 2009 11:59 AM
------

Bobby - so if I understand Fr. Z correctly - when President Obama visits the Vatican in July, this diplomatically calls for withholding judgement re: Notre Dame now, so they can set the stage for performing the exorcism at that time? ;-)

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 20, 2009 12:38 PM


Bobby, Chris - wow I just conjectured something like that on my update! Well, not the exorcism part, but that they be schmoozing now for a visit later.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 20, 2009 1:10 PM


It's amazing that people defend the pope for not speaking our forcefully against Obama's appearance at Notre Dame by saying it's because the pope is a head of state.

Gee, didn't our Lord say that his kingdom was not of this world? Isn't it quite inconsistent to claim to be the Vicar of Christ on earth, instruct your church to teach that abortion is wrong based on Christ's teaching, and then not boldly speak out against what Obama did at Notre Dame, an institution that is the face of Catholicism in the world?

Herein lies the foundational problem with a church that teach that tradition is as important as Scripture. It's called doublemindedness which to God is contemptible.

I know I'm going to get a lot of hate comments from some of Catholics on this site instead of them contemplating an answer to my question. And it's just a question.

These type of comments would show me that those that write them are more loyal to the church than they are to Christ in defending her obvious inconistencies.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 1:29 PM


Who is defending the Pope's silence on *this speech*?

Please give credit where credit is due. Is there another "church" besides the one built literally on the bones of Peter that has been more of a voice in defending the unborn?

And, remember, if you accept a Church that uses a canon for Scripture- that canon came about because of "tradition." (i.e., Scripture didn't come w/ a table of contents)

Posted by: HisMan2 at May 20, 2009 1:48 PM


Many earlier threads if you care o look back.

Oh, and please use a more orignal handle please.

Scripture was breathed by the Holy Spirit not by a bunch of men in hats around a table voting on what should be included.

Herein lies the problem. It's called spiritual elitism and arrogance.

God will not share His glory with anyone.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 1:56 PM


HisMan - I began a blog post about the Catholic witness at ND and then I decided not to finish it, but I do want to share my thinking - your expectations about the Pope's actions would not be without the long-term witness of those who professed Christ as Catholics. Look at the stark contrast between those who stood apart from their peers for a righteous cause and those who cheered for Obama. By their actions, I was reminded that while all the elect are called saints, the Catholic church only canonizes those saints whose selfless dedication to the cause of Christ is outstanding. I found that consistent with Scripture.

Lovingkindness does require justice and truth, but also compassion and mercy. I've learned the Holy Spirit may use hardened hearts or silent voices to spur his children to action.

Wheat and tares, sheep and goats - those who enter the wedding banquet and those left outside. God knows their hearts. Without explicit words, we are left to guess as to their motivations. So even though I joked above, I think Pope Benedict would rather discuss this issue directly with Mr. Obama, rather than playing it through the media.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 20, 2009 2:29 PM


I saw that report on Monday and was utterly downcast.
It was just too contradictory...on the one hand we had Cardinal Burke at the Prayer Breakfast wiping the floor with the ND apostates, and then OR patting Obama on the back.

God help us...

Food for thought:
" Are you going to leave Peter because of Judas?"

Posted by: carders at May 20, 2009 2:54 PM


Thanks Chris.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 3:12 PM


Herein lies the foundational problem with a church that teach that tradition is as important as Scripture. It's called doublemindedness which to God is contemptible.

I'm not sure St Paul would agree with you, HisMan.

Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.
2 Thess 2:15

I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.
1 Cor 11:2

And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.
2 Tim 2:2

You left the RCC and you have an axe to grind against her. I get that. Grind away if you must.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 3:45 PM


As Paul, stood up to Catholicism's first claimed "pope" for his hypocrisy, so too should all Christian Catholic saints stand up to the pope for his duplicity in not forcefully rebuking and even preventing ND for singlehandedly neutering the pro-life movement.

Well, I guess money-hungry Evangelicals will have to fill the void? Good luck.

Chris:

This was your comment: "Lovingkindness does require justice and truth, but also compassion and mercy. I've learned the Holy Spirit may use hardened hearts or silent voices to spur his children to action."

Excuse me, but if 3,000 five year old children were being killed daily I think the mercy would occur after the killing stopped. On just who are we supposed to have mercy, the innocent or the murderers?

I don't think God expects us to stand by and "act" merciful while innocents are being slaughtered. If someone had a gun to my child's head I'd pull the trigger of the gun I had pointed at the head of the perpetrator and act merciful later. I think Jesus would expect nothing less. This makes me question what pro-lifers really subconsciously think about when life begins. How else could one then just stand by and do what we do, i.e., act so powerless and so wimpish? It's mind boggling.

I think the movement needs a total revamp.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 3:53 PM


Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 3:45 PM
-------

Fed-up, here's one for you:

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. [Mt 12:25]

If you believe HisMan is not in your house, then perhaps you should have compassion and mercy upon him. But if he is in your house, then perhaps you should practice more of that greatest commandment - to love one another.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 20, 2009 4:00 PM


HisMan, what could the Pope have done to prevent PBHO from speaking at ND?

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 4:02 PM


Chris @4:00 I agree. Didn't mean to come across uncivil to HisMan. I shouldn't post when I'm tired.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 4:04 PM


Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 3:53 PM

Forest for trees - If I didn't think God had mercy upon the aborted orphans, then my actions would be quite different. However, the women's suffering is self-inflicted. None of this addresses the long term problem which is all are objects of God's wrath, and all need to come to repentance.

You consider violence acceptable to defend your child (and I would probably do the same thing), but we can't use violence to stop the violence of abortion. That doesn't mean it may not get there someday. The overtures to the civil war built over time, and Lord knows that was bloody enough.

Should the church throw out those who are disobedient? People say yes when it's in the abstract, but when it comes down to it, it's more like what happened with Israel taking over the Promised Land. Congregations are messy, sanctification takes time.

I agree, the movement needs invigorating, but I think Jill is right - it's been a long time since a single person has so radically represented abortion. Obama is his own worse enemy on this issue.

Let's all encourage each other and build each other up in the faith.

We know Jesus Christ has the victory.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 20, 2009 4:20 PM


Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.
2 Thess 2:15

I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.
1 Cor 11:2

And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.
2 Tim 2:2

You left the RCC and you have an axe to grind against her. I get that. Grind away if you must.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 3:45 PM
_______________________

Fed Up:

We are most loyal to what we believe will save us.

If I have an axe, it is cutting at the roots of lies and deception, not the truth.

Sounds to me like your agreeing with what happened at ND? Sorry you can't have it both ways.

I doubt very much that the oral statements Paul made contradicted the letters he wrote, not one bit, not one iota. How could they in a real time application? If they did Paul would have had absolutely NO credibility, zip, nada.

Paul personally mentored Timothy, so contemplate that as you quote those scriptures.

The quotes you misused to support the equality of tradition and Scripture are wholey inaccurage when sound exegesis and logic is applied.

If what happened at Notre Dame doesn't make you think about what Catholic leadership is really up to, i.e., power, money and prestige; all the things Satan tempted Jesus with, then not even the truth of God's word will sway you from the seared consciences of these wolves in sheep's clothing.

WE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS.

_____________________________

Fed-up, here's one for you:

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. [Mt 12:25]
If you believe HisMan is not in your house, then perhaps you should have compassion and mercy upon him. But if he is in your house, then perhaps you should practice more of that greatest commandment - to love one another.


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 20, 2009 4:00 PM
___________________________

Chris:

The quote you used was in the context of the Pharisees basically calling Jesus a devil, calling good evil and evil good..

Chris, if a divided house was not shown at Notre Dame on Sunday, I don't know what was. Yes, Satan was totally at work there blaspheming the Holy Spirit and dividing the church, i.e., calling evil good and good evil.

Apart from a massive repentance of Catholic Church leadership I would say his efforts were quite successful.

This should not surprise anyone who know Scripture:

James 5:2-4
2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

2 Peter 3:2-7
2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 4:40 PM


Chris:

I don't think you understand the "Doctrine of the Shedding of Innocent Blood".

It is God Himself who will require the shedding of blood for all the shedding of inncoent blood that has polluted our land.

What form this will take I haven't got a clue.

However, there was one soldier killed in the Civil War for every slave brought to this country.

We've killed what? About 50 million? Do the math.

God will exact His vengeance on this country apart from what anyone thinks, says or does. It is inexorable.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 4:49 PM


My problem is not with Catholics it is with Catholic leadership.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 4:51 PM


HisMan, what could the Pope have done to prevent PBHO from speaking at ND?
Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 4:02 PM

Not sure he could "prevent" it, but a few words about how he disapproved would have been powerful. Maybe he didn't disapprove.

Posted by: Hal at May 20, 2009 5:10 PM


The Pope, for all his "papal infallibility," is as much a politician as a pontiff and has exigent political concerns to consider that are clearly as or more important than his ecclesiastical duties. His silence can only be taken as deference to Barack Obama's superior display of power.

Posted by: Devo at May 20, 2009 5:36 PM


HisMan, if you visit the ND web site, you can find out for yourself why the Church couldn't prevent the board of trustees at ND from honoring PBHO. Even a revocation of their Catholic charter or a defrocking of Fr J wouldn't have stopped things from going forward.

I don't like it any more than you do. If the Church had authority to stop it, I'd have been screaming louder than anyone for her to exercise it. I was shocked to discover that a university can have a Catholic charter and have no accountability to the Church. I was also surprised to learn there are only a couple of Catholic universities in the US that are under Church governance.

Am I defending ND? No! But I am not willing to condemn the RCC for failing to stop something not under its control. I hope this is a lesson learned for the Church heirarchy that they need to reign in colleges with Catholic charters. Those unfaithful to the Church need to lose their charter. ASAP. As for the "catholics" who supported it, I consider them to have separated themselves from the Church, despite any "catholic" label they choose to apply to themselves.

WE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS.

Agreed, although I acknowledge that I am powerless to change your perception that I do. I will forego the temptation to respond to your allegation that I have illogically misused scripture and simply wish you a pleasant rest of the evening.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 5:39 PM


OR, though it is published by the Vatican, is independent in its editorial decisions. It is, I'm very sure, not the first place the Pope goes to get his news about the world. In fact most of the time my guess is he doesn't pay much attention to it. If he wants informed and intelligent commentary on world politics, there are plenty of other places to go--not to mention his own diplomatic corps, which is the oldest continuing corps of diplomats in the world. The Pope has direct access to much more informed sources that the OR editor.

People sure can have a strange idea of the Pope's relationship to anything that has the name "Catholic" on it. It' not like he runs around the Vatican personally producing every bit of written material that any Vatican office or endeavor puts out. The pope does not function like a bully, going around forcing his will on people.

The editor at OR, I'm positive, does not consult the Pope (nor should he) before he decides what he is going to print. The pope has vastly more important matters to tend to. If this raises to the level of high concern for him we may see a new editor appear.

Posted by: Scott Johnston at May 20, 2009 6:52 PM


Fed Up:

Perhaps if you viewed things from a purely scriptural stance, i.e., qualifications of a bishop, role of hsuband and wife, etc. and not all this man made heirarchy stuff, you'd have a better understanding of where I was coming from.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 10:51 PM


HisMan, I was raised as a sola scriptura Protestant. I think I do understand where you're coming from most of the time :)

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 11:02 PM


Fed Up said, "But I am not willing to condemn the RCC for failing to stop something not under its control."

I've only read quickly, but it seems to me that Fed Up also mentioned a "revocation of [Notre Dame's] Catholic Charter," which seems to be exactly the thing that's needed. The Roman Catholic Church needs to say, "Not in our name," and more importantly, "Not in Christ's name." In other words, when the Roman Catholic Church repudiates Notre Dame University, they remove the evil from their midst.

Whether Notre Dame University calls itself Roman Catholic is one thing, but whether the bishops and pro-lifers here do is another. Many pro-lifers here already say that it's not really Roman Catholic, but only the bishops have the authority to stand up and say, "This thing is not part of us. Its administration is lying." It's my understanding that the clergy won't, because they themselves have been infiltrated by error and don't speak with a single voice. Historically the Roman Catholic Church has often practiced syncretism.

Posted by: Jon at May 20, 2009 11:24 PM


I just want to add in addition to what I said above that even though L'Osservatore Romano is the official paper of the Vatican, not everything printed in it is automatically equivalent to an official statement of the Holy See.

There is a difference between being published by the Vatican, and being the primary official channel of communication of the Vatican to the world.

When the Pope wants his views made known to the world with an official statement he has clear ways of doing so. This includes the Press Office of the Holy See (which publishes its own daily Bulletin, and oversees the Vatican Information Service). The Holy See Press Office has (like the White House press corps, but less fancy and probably smaller) has a physical area for the use of credentialed Press personnel. The Holy See also gives official Press Releases and has Press conferences (I don't know how often these are).

So, while statements that are official are reproduced in OR, it seems that the official organ of transmittal of official statements is via other means. And of course, articles of the nature of editorial commentary are the opinion of the author and do not speak for the Holy See.


Jill, you wrote in your update, "Could this be the reason for the Vatican's softpedaling on Obama?"

In regard to this, I would like to point out that the primary purpose for the office of the papacy is for the Christian faith--to preserve, protect, and spread faith in Jesus throughout the world. The Pope does not have a habit of offering commentary and critiques of heads of state. This is the realm of the political. The Pope is not a politician or a commenter on politics. He is a servant of Christ, here to serve Christ and His Church.

So, the Pope is not "softpedalling" Obama because he generally does not give specific public critiques of world leaders at all. Can you think of any specific critique the Pope has given to any head of state? The Papacy is not a political office.

Now, of course, Obama speaking at ND is not merely a political event--it directly pertains to how a Catholic university is or is not faithful to its duty to represent the faith. However (and non-Catholics I think often do not understand this), the person whose proper role it is to stand up for the faith in regard to the situation at ND is the local bishop. The Pope cannot be the first person to offer statements about every problem situation involving the faith around the world (there are over 1 billion Catholics around the world [only about one sixth of the entire world]; there are well over 2000 dioceses and thousands of bishops; there are over 1000 Catholic Universities around the world). The local bishop is the one who is the first and primary representative of the Church to deal with things like this.

Posted by: Scott Johnston at May 20, 2009 11:25 PM


Fed Up:

I don't conisider Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, etc. that scripturally literate either. Sorry.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 11:36 PM


HisMan, no apology necessary. My point was that I understand the sola scriptura perspective, not that I have a lesser, equal, or greater degree of biblical literacy than you do.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 20, 2009 11:47 PM


Scott:

I think Fed Up was saying on another post in his defense that the reason the pope did not get involved was becasue he was a "head of state".

Now what is it, head of state, Vicar of Christ, servant of Christ, what?

Here's the rub: Let's say that the United States leglaized the killing of five years olds because there were just too many and the Catholic Church taught that this was wrong and immoral, etc., etc. and was the very symbol that stood against this evil.

But then there's this President that said, "well, there's just too many five year olds and while we must reduce the need to kill these five years old, we need to find common ground where the number of five year old terminations is reduced."

Let's say the church then invited this President to speak at a university which simulataneously stands as the brand of this church and by doing so gave tacit approval to this President's speech.

Now here you have the leader of the Church who, in matters of faith and morals is "infallible", says nothing against this grotesque evil while the eyes of the world are focused on the very proponent of the evil. And you want me to respect this leader? Did not the pope espouse how immoral the Iraq war was?

This is insanity. This is beyond insanity. This is surreal. And to defend your pope and not hold him to account is beyond me.

Our allegiance is to the Lord of Heaven, not any man on earth.

Posted by: HisMan at May 20, 2009 11:55 PM


And you want me to respect this leader?

Someone else brought up head of state, not me, His man. I don't care if you respect the pope or not. It does bother me though when you misstate things. Like just now suggesting the Church invited PBHO. Not true. The board of trustees and senior faculty of a private university invited him. A priest as president of the university extended the offer on behalf of the university. Shameful act by the priest? Absolutely. Not quite the same thing as an invitation by the Church though.

As for infallibility, it's exercised when a doctrine related to faith and morals is called into question. The sanctity of life is already a well-established doctrine. You noted in an earlier comment Paul's rebuke of Peter. That was a matter of discipline, not faith or morals. The problem was Peter's conduct. Peter was aware of the correct teaching but wasn't living it out. Infallibility is not impeccability (incapacity for sin).

Same thing here. Fr Jenkins and the "catholic" university's board of trustees' behavior is at issue. They are aware of correct Catholic teaching but not living up to it. It's a matter of discipline, not a calling into question the sanctity of life. Hence, no need for an ex cathedra statement.

I know that's not what you want to hear. Just telling you how it works.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 21, 2009 12:35 AM


And to defend your pope and not hold him to account is beyond me.

The member of the Catholic hierarchy who is the most appropriate individual to deal with this situation is the local bishop--bishop John D'Arcy.

HisMan, Pope Benedict has no direct oversight or authority over Notre Dame. While it is a Catholic University, it is a private institution with its own independent Board. They can completely ignore the Pope (and bishop D'Arcy, for that matter) and nothing will happen to them. What do you think the Pope can do? Send over armed Swiss Guards and force them to act like good Christians on threat of arrest and being shipped over to the Vatican to be put in a Church prison???

The people I hold accountable to speak out on this situation are the bishops of my country--the bishops of the United States. It is their role to speak, as leaders of the Church, about matters like this. And, over 70 American bishops have done so. Rather than be upset at the Pope, I am upset over the American bishops who chose to say nothing about the Notre Dame scandal. That is where the criticism of Catholic leaders should be leveled.

And please, let's remember that Catholics are not taught by their Catholic faith to blindly follow, like unthinking robots, every pronouncement of the Pope and their Bishop. They are taught to learn what the truths are about the faith, about God and Christ, and about human life, as revealed by Scripture and taught by the Church. Then, understanding what the truth is, and with a rational (as opposed to unthinking) obedience to the Pope and the bishops, they are responsible themselves to choose freely to do what is right for a Christian to do in any particular situation.

The Pope (and bishops) do not claim the right to coerce the conscience of other people. If badly formed Catholics (such as, some Board members and faculty of Notre Dame) choose freely to ignore the clear teaching of the Church on matters of fundamental importance--they are free to do so. They are gravely mistaken, and are harming their own souls as well as contributing to the spiritual harm of others. But they are free to do so. It is not the Pope's fault that Notre Dame's leadership is so mistaken in the decisions they have made.

Any righteous outrage on our part should be directed at those truly responsible for this scandal--the president of Notre Dame and the Board of Trustees and the Fellows--and at those responsible to speak for the Catholic Church in South Bend--the local bishop, and more broadly, all the bishops of the United States.

Any Catholic familiar with the teaching of Pope Benedict has no doubt that he must be very displeased with ND's invitation to the President. I, personally, do not need him to specifically say so. My local bishops, the bishops of the U.S. who have criticized ND, are applying the the teaching of the Pope by their speaking out. But, the buck stops with those directly responsible. And the Pope is not one of those directly responsible. Christians often choose to do things directly in contradiction to their professed faith. In this situation, I do not think there is any doubt in America or the world at large where the Catholic Church stands on the sanctity of all human life and what the Church thinks about how praise and honor should never be given to those who advance evil causes that diminish the dignity of life.

Posted by: Scott Johnston at May 21, 2009 12:43 PM


Excellent post, Scott.

I am upset over the American bishops who chose to say nothing about the Notre Dame scandal. That is where the criticism of Catholic leaders should be leveled.

I agree. We need more like Bishop Finn.
http://www.ncregister.com/daily/bishop_obama_vs._dialogue/

Posted by: Fed Up at May 21, 2009 1:10 PM


On April 17, 2008, during Pope Benedict's highly watched apostolic visit to the United States, he gave a talk at the Catholic University of America to the Presidents and Deans of all American Catholic Universities.
See the full text at http://tinyurl.com/4sru34

Here are a couple excerpts from this talk:

Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth. This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and his teaching. In this way those who meet him are drawn by the very power of the Gospel to lead a new life characterized by all that is beautiful, good, and true; a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of our Lord’s disciples, the Church.

And further on,

A university or school’s Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction – do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear? Are we ready to commit our entire self – intellect and will, mind and heart – to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools? Is it given fervent expression liturgically, sacramentally, through prayer, acts of charity, a concern for justice, and respect for God’s creation? Only in this way do we really bear witness to the meaning of who we are and what we uphold.

Also, on the topic of what the Catholic Church says about the place of Catholic Universities in society, see the 1990 document, "On Catholic Universities" (Ex Corde Ecclesiae), by John Paul II.
You can read it at http://tinyurl.com/wl29x

I don't think there is any doubt that Pope Benedict (who was a professor at a Catholic University in Germany back in the early years of his priesthood) has expressed firm principles that lead to the conclusion in this circumstance that the invitation of President Obama to speak and be honored at ND was gravely wrong.

Posted by: Scott Johnston at May 21, 2009 1:20 PM


Forgive me for going on. I just came across this and thought it was quite good.

This is from a post by Catholic priest and blogger, Fr. Angelo Geiger, FI:

Actually, the L’Osservatore Romano is only a semi-official publication of the Holy See that covers the Holy Father’s activities and publishes many of his writings and spoken homilies and addresses of various kinds. The Italian edition of the paper is published daily and contains also a number of editorials from churchmen and prominent laymen. Thus, quoting an editorial from the paper and indicating that is the opinion of the “Vatican,” is not quite accurate.

And a little further on,

Obama talks a good talk and he seems to be building bridges, unfortunately the bridge between the culture of life and the culture of death is built out of little bodies of the aborted. The only common ground between life and death is silence. The dead are silent and the living who cooperate in death are silent.

Fr. Geiger's blog is http://maryvictrix.wordpress.com/

Posted by: Scott Johnston at May 21, 2009 1:44 PM


Another great post, Scott.

I don't think there is any doubt that Pope Benedict ... has expressed firm principles that lead to the conclusion in this circumstance that the invitation of President Obama to speak and be honored at ND was gravely wrong.

Which is why I was outraged when I heard Fr Jenkins quoting the Holy Father as he introduced PBHO. I got so disgusted I had to hit the mute button.

Posted by: Fed Up at May 21, 2009 1:46 PM


Thanks, Fed Up!

Posted by: Scott Johnston at May 21, 2009 1:51 PM


Good work, Scott. You are on top this!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at May 21, 2009 1:53 PM


"I was outraged when I heard Fr Jenkins quoting the Holy Father as he introduced PBHO"

Oh Fed Up and any others, this isn't about a quote from the Holy Father that Fr. Jenkins used, but an astute reader checked on the quote that Fr. Jenkins gave from Gaudium et Spes, the Vatican II document. This is from Fr. Z's WDTPRS blog:

"
JENKINS: "As the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council wrote in their pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes: ‘Respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters. In fact, the more deeply we come to understand their ways of thinking through such courtesy and love, the more easily will we be able to enter into dialogue with them.’ "

Too bad Fr. Jenkins conveniently omitted the immediately succeeding portions from the text of Gaudium et Spes, which reveals the full context of the passage. It goes:

"This love and good will, to be sure, must in no way render us indifferent to truth and goodness. Indeed love itself impels the disciples of Christ to speak the saving truth to all men. But it is necessary to distinguish between error, which always merits repudiation, and the person in error, who never loses the dignity of being a person even when he is flawed by false or inadequate religious notions. God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts, for that reason He forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone."
"

Amazing what we see when we read the rest of the GS quote... it actually says the opposite of what Fr. Jenkins intended it to say.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at May 21, 2009 1:58 PM


Thank you for that, Bobby. I didn't get that far into Fr J's remarks. He lost me when he referred to BXVI at the White House last year and said something about religion and "responsible dialogue." For him to use the Holy Father's words to suggest that what was occurring at ND was "responsible dialogue" was too much for me to stomach!

Posted by: Fed Up at May 21, 2009 3:37 PM


Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 21, 2009 1:58 PM


It's too bad Fr. Jenkins didn't continue the quote. If he had I'd have a new respect for the man.

Posted by: Kristen at May 21, 2009 5:59 PM


You aren't much for freedom of the press, are you?

Posted by: Yo La Tengo at May 23, 2009 7:36 PM


I'm for accurate reporting by the press. I would also expect that a Roman Catholic press would uphold Roman Catholic teaching. Freedom of the press isn't the relevant concern here.

Posted by: Jon at May 25, 2009 1:18 AM


Jon - Which is it, freedom of the press or freedom of the vatican to obstruct the press?

Posted by: Yo La Tengo at May 28, 2009 1:18 PM


Neither. The relevant concern is that the Vatican press do its job.

Posted by: Jon at May 28, 2009 2:05 PM


Jon at May 28, 2009 2:05 PM

It did its job. You just didn't like the way it was written. I think the local catholic paper is rubbish, but that doesn't mean that the editor isnt doing their job. It just means that I don't agree with their coverage of the news.

Posted by: Yo La Tengo at May 29, 2009 12:02 AM


YLT said, "You just didn't like the way it was written."

No, YLT. Read again Jill's post. She says the following:

"OR's new editor, Giovanni Maria Vian (pictured left), has been chastised before for inaccurate representations of Vatican views. Hudson called on the Vatican to address the inaccuracies in this harmful article, which is being spread around the globe through Associated Press channels."

As I said at 1:18 p.m. on May 28, I'm for accurate reporting by the press. And I would expect that the Vatican press would uphold the Vatican's teachings.

Posted by: Jon at May 31, 2009 9:55 AM